Indonesian Scouts join rescue teams following Java landslide
Volunteer members of Indonesia’s Scout Task Force joined rescue efforts in central Java after a landslide triggered by heavy rain swept through the village of Pasir Panjang in Central Java, leaving at least seven people dead.
The 200 Scouts, from the Movement’s “Pramuka Peduli” (Scout Care) unit, worked in 24-hour shifts alongside emergency services and local villagers to search for victims buried in the mud, using their hands to remove trees and other debris.
"As long as there is an undiscovered victim, and there is an evacuation and rescue effort we do not stop working,”
National Commissioner on Community Service and Disaster Preparedness said on Monday, according to Pramuka Pos. Rescue efforts were suspended a number of times amid heavy rain and lightning.
Five people are known to have been injured in the disaster with 13 declared missing, according to the country’s disaster response agency.
The landslide hit the village at 8am last Thursday when dozens of farmers were out working in the rice fields. Survivors described a sudden roar as the earth began falling away. “The hill above us looked like it was spinning down,” Watirah, a 53-year-old farmer who escaped the landslide, told Indonesia’s Tempo newspaper. Pictures from the scene showed damaged houses, torrents of water and scores of trees uprooted by the mud.
“Even one life lost is a huge loss to the Indonesian nation,” Kak Eko Sulistio said, explaining the Scouts’ involvement. “Scouts must be present in the community including during times of disaster or difficulties that can befall the community. Assistance can vary, including even the smallest thing.”
More on the story (Bahasa Indonesia).